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Green Tree Put on Rating Watch Negative Following OSMO Report

In a release, Fitch Ratings announced it is changing Green Tree's servicer grades to "Rating Watch Negative," citing "ongoing concerns with Green Tree's rapid growth and portfolio integration" as well as the results of the latest compliance update from the Office of the Mortgage Settlement Oversight (OSMO), which showed the servicer failed to meet some of the minimum requirements agreed to by some of the nation’s biggest outfits.

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MCS Appoints VP, Assistant VP for Operations Center

Mortgage Contracting Services (MCS), a nationwide provider of property preservation, inspections, and maintenance for the financial services industry, announced the respective appointments of Jeff Thompson and Dan Hoeh as VP and assistant VP of operations for its facility in Ruston, Louisiana.

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May Mortgage Apps Reverse Downward Trend

Using information reported weekly by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), research firm Capital Economics calculated a 2.0 percent rise in application volumes throughout May, a reversal from April's 4.8 percent drop. The increase came despite a 3.1 percent decline in the month's final week, bringing activity to a six-week low.

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Beige Book Records Continued Growth in All Districts

Fed

In its latest Beige Book, released Wednesday, the Federal Reserve noted economic activity has expanded in recent months, with the pace of growth "characterized as moderate in the Boston, New York, Richmond, Chicago, Minneapolis, Dallas, and San Francisco Districts, and modest in the remaining regions." Wednesday's summary reinforces comments offered by Fed Chair Janet Yellen recently.

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Half of Millennial Buyers Plan to Seek Help from Parents

According to a consumer survey conducted by Trulia, 60 percent of American adults age 18–34 say a lack of savings, poor credit, and severe debt stand between them and homeownership. As a result, 50 percent would have to ask for help from their parents or grandparents to put together enough money to clear the initial hurdle of making a down payment.

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Home Price Gains Slow to 14-Month Low

CoreLogic reported continued gains in its latest Home Price Index (HPI), though the latest growth was the lowest in the last 14 months. Including distressed sales, the company recorded a 10.5 percent year-over-year increase in its index, marking 26 consecutive months of yearly gains. Nationally, prices are expected to rise by 6.3 percent by next April, further slowing to what analysts say should be a more sustainable pace.

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Maryland Sees 9th Bank Collapse of 2014

Following a prior collapse in Ohio, FDIC announced over the weekend the closure of another bank: Slavie Federal Savings Bank of Bel Air, Maryland, has been closed. The agency entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Bay Bank, FSB of Lutherville, Maryland, to assume all the deposits of the recently shuttered Slavie Federal Savings Bank.

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Economists Forecast Moderating Price Gains

In a survey of 31 economists, Reuters arrived at a median forecast of price growth of 7.5 percent this year, down significantly from the 13.4 percent improvement recorded in the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index last December. The survey also found that, despite concerns from some analysts of overheating as price gains far outpace the historical average, the median judgment of economists surveyed is that the housing market is situated right in the middle between extremely overvalued and extremely undervalued.

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Majority of Americans Believe Housing Crisis Isn’t Over

In its second annual survey of housing attitudes, the MacArthur Foundation found 51 percent of American consumers still believe the country is in the midst of its housing crisis, while another 19 percent believe the worst is yet to come. Only 25 percent said they believe "the housing crisis is pretty much over." At least part of that pessimism stems from challenges related to housing affordability in today's economy.

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